Johannesburg: Nov 16, 2011
Former South Africa opener Herschelle Gibbs will emerge unscathed from any new probe by Indian authorities into the match-fixing saga involving now deceased captain Hansie Cronje in 2000, his lawyer Peter Whelan told the daily Business Day on Wednesday.
Whelan was reacting to reports that the Delhi police are waiting a report on the authenticity of tape recordings of cellphone conversations that allegedly contain discussions between Cronje and London-based bookmaker Sanjeev Chawla.
After initially denying involvement in the match-fixing, both Cronje and Gibbs admitted to the King Commission of Inquiry set up in South Africa that they had conspired to fixing matches for cash.
Cronje was banned for life from participating in any form of cricket at any level before his death under mysterious circumstances in a plane crash two years later. Gibbs and his colleague Henry Williams were slapped with fines and six-month suspensions.
Whelan said Gibbs had made a full disclosure in his presence to the Indian police when they went to India in 2006, adding that he doubted the quality of the evidence against his client.
"They had absolutely nothing. My personal view is that those tapes do not exist. In fact, I asked the police that pointedly and they ducked the question," Whelan told the daily.
Whelan said he would only consider a request from Indian authorities to co-operate if that came with a proper warrant.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the South African Police Services both said they had not been advised of any plans to reopen the case.
"It would be India's decision to reopen the matter and if they feel we should be involved, it is up to them to contact us," police spokesman Colonel Vish Naidu said.
CSA executive consultant Michael Owen-Smith said all the body knew was what they had read in the papers, but he believed that there could be renewed interest in the matter because of the recent conviction of Pakistani players in the UK on match-fixing charges. (PTI)